Cherry AB (publ) has exercised its option to acquire the remaining 51 per cent of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd. As a result of this acquisition and strong organic growth, Cherry is expected to triple its revenues and become the third largest Nordics-focused private sector gaming company. The acquisition is also expected to deliver a sound basis for continued international expansion with strong brands.
The combined company’s pro forma revenues for the third quarter of 2016 amounts to SEK 475 million with an EBITDA of SEK 109 million. The Cherry Group expects that with the acquisition of ComeOn, it will generate total revenues for the full year 2017 of between SEK 2 600 and SEK 2 700 million with an EBITDA of SEK 550 to SEK 600 million.
“We are very pleased to be able to now conclude the acquisition of ComeOn, which means that we considerably strengthen our position in the market. Together we will create an entrepreneurial-driven gaming company where both Cherry and ComeOn have significantly stronger organic growth than the market, and the acquisition improves the Group’s results considerably. This deal also means that Cherry iGaming will increase its revenues from sports betting. Cherry already has a unique income stream diversification from five different business areas along the gaming value chain,” says Fredrik Burvall, President and CEO, Cherry.
ComeOn has strong positions in the company’s main markets, Norway, Sweden and Finland with a successful multi-brand strategy. ComeOn markets games under a number of well-established brands, including ComeOn.com, Mobilebet.com, CasintoStugan.com, MobilAutomaten.com, folkeautomaten.com, Suomikasino.com, GetLucky.com and Kasyno.pl. Approximately twenty-five per cent of ComeOn revenues come from sports betting.
Cherry expects that the acquisition of the remaining 51 per cent of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd will be concluded in the first quarter of 2017. The integration of both companies, which commenced in July 2016, is progressing according to plan. The integration work carried out to date has confirmed Cherry’s view that significant synergies exist in both the short and long term.
The total purchase price is based on a multiple of ten times ComeOn’s operating profit (EBIT) for the full year 2016. The initial EUR 80 million portion of the purchase price, which was paid in July 2016, will be deducted from the final purchase price which can be up to a maximum of EUR 280 million on a debt free basis.
As described below, Cherry intends to pay the remaining 51 per cent of the shares in ComeOn Malta Ltd AB with a combination of new shares (40 per cent) and cash (60 per cent). The planned new share issue must be approved by an extraordinary general meeting, which is expected to take place in February 2017 once the 2016 result for ComeOn is finalised.